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Back to work

A busy week as usual on return from Center Parcs, yesterday was an Oracle upgrade for Aberdeenshire, fortunately from home as they were under two feet of snow, but today was a return trip to Dundee for an install (fortunately no snow, but very cold!). Tomorrow is a trip to North Ayrshire (which is just down the road) then we’ve got two live migrations on over the weekend – its like I’ve never been away.

The car was in for a service yesterday too – 90,000 miles (or 91,000 to be precise), which meant a new timing belt and £450 in total. Expensive but all carried out very efficiently by Park’s Volvo in Ayr – the bad news is that’s not the end of it. I also need two new tyres, a new set of pads and disks at the back, new wishbone bushes for the suspension and a new locking unit for the drivers door. None of which came as a surprise – I knew the tyres needed changed, the disks have been on their way out for the last 25,000 miles, I was warned about the wishbone bushes at the last MOT and the driver’s door has developed an disturbing habit of unlocking itself immediately after you’ve locked it.

Many’s the time recently I’ve been stood in a car park locking and unlocking the car like a slightly demented person trying to get the driver’s door to stay locked – whilst Megan and Angela wander away pretending they don’t know me. I’ll get it all fixed when they come back with a price, but I’m sure its going to be another £600 or more – think I’m going to have to look to replace the car next year, but I guess it’s served us well. We’ve had it three years now and it’ll be five in March so it’s probably due a rest.

Slightly less reliable is the Epson Stylus CX3600 we bought in March, still scans very will but the printer has decided that it’s to attached to its ink to waste it on actually printing anything. It’ll go through the motions but nothing actually makes it onto the page – and no amount of head cleaning or percussive maintenance has done the trick. It’s still under warranty so I’ll need to take it to the Epson repair centre in Kilmarnock for fixing – might do it tomorrow if I get the chance…

A very COLD holiday!

When we left Seamill on Monday morning, the sun was shining and we just had t-shirts on. The further south we got the colder we got and by the time we reached Centre Parcs at 2.30pm, the fog was out and it was freezing! we had to buy fleece hats and gloves we were so cold. Everyone arrived safe and sound (apart from Nana and Grandad getting lost twice, around Centre Parcs!). We all had a very good time apart from the weather. We attempted to follow the treasure trail, but bailed out as Megan was fed up of walking, so we went swimming instead. Steve was in his element as Elaine wanted to go down all the slides and flumes, including the outside one, which they managed to convince me was a good idea to go down – and after nearly drowning, I am still alive to tell the tale. Some of us spent a lovely 3 hours in the Spa, including Mum and I swimming in the outside pool (yes we are harty Scots after all). We had some brilliant food and laughs along the way, inlcuding a visit to Aladdin the Panto. We did manage to get Megan to see Santa – she’s a bit frightened of him! and we went on a carriage ride, which was good fun.

All made up for a very good holiday, and as we merryly went on our way at 11.30am………..and eventually got home at 7.30pm! yes we were caught up in all the roadworks, accidents and the snow…..

No more work

It’s been a busy week, but Friday’s finally arrived so I’m officially on my holidays !

I’ve spent most of the week at South Ayrshire Council (three separate visits), with a trip to Aberdeen thrown in for good measure – yesterday was Aberdeen, and I was on the road at 6:30am and didn’t get home until past 11:00pm thanks to the weather, assorted roadworks and an accident that closed the M80 at Stirling last night. 😦

Megan and Angela have both been suffering this week with bad coughs – Megan sounds like she’s on a 40 a day, but was looking a bit brighter when I got home this evening. Lets hope it doesn’t curtail the fun at Center Parcs next week – Angela’s off to an Ann Summers party this evening, so no sign of it slowing her down…

Tomorrow there’s a boot sale at the Town Hall in West Kilbride, so it’s an early start to try and shift some of Megan’s old clothes, and then she’s been invited to a birthday party at the Community Centre in the afternoon.

Unlikely to be much blogging till after we get back from Center Parcs, but Emma seems to have been bitten by the bug so you’ll be able to catch up on all the exciting gossip from Down Under (its much more interesting than life in Seamill!).

A Sporting Weekend

Hockey this weekend was a cup game up in Dundee, so it was an early start for an 11:45 meet at Clydesdale, and then an hour and half drive up to the Dundee International Sports Complex (DISC). They’ve got a really good water based pitch there, unfortunately we were playing on the sand based one – which had been a little oversanded so it was more like a game of beach hockey 😦

We were always going to be up against it, playing a Menzieshill team that were much stronger than our blend of youth and experience! Already a goal down after 10 minutes one of our young lads was unceremoniously flattened by an overweight eejit playing up front for Menzieshill, landing badly on the dodgy pitch and breaking his left arm. With our captain having to leave to take the lad to Nine Wells hospital in Dundee, and our sub having not turned up earlier in the morning, that left us two men down and somewhat overrun. Seven goals down at half time the game was conceded and they lent us a couple of players to play the second half as a friendly.

Sunday morning was car washing time (turns out that Mum’s cars is actually black and Dad’s is supposed to be red), but Uncle Darren and Auntie Elaine phoned to see if we wanted to pay them a visit this afternoon (which we did). Darren and I went for a game of snooker, which ended a respectable 2-2 draw – we weren’t very good but since neither of us has played in ages I don’t think we did too bad. We’ll take the cues with us to Center Parcs next week and get a bit more practice. 🙂

We all went to the Brewer’s Fayre at the Phoenix in Linwood for tea, but Megan wasn’t feeling too well so we came home early. She’s got a bit of a sore tummy, which has apparently been doing the rounds at nursery. She’s snuggled on the sofa watching Maggie and the Ferocious beast just now, and says she’s feeling a bit better – we’ll have to see how she is in the morning…

Oracle 10g High Availability

I was at a workshop in Edinburgh yesterday, highlighting all the new high availability features that are present in the new release of Oracle 10g.

Unfortunately it had to be abandoned half way through due to a hardware failure… 🙄

I managed to get the adjustable bed frame from Ikea though, so Angela is now able to sleep in all sorts of strange positions that are apparently good for her back. Megan on the other hand still prefers to jump up and down on it, so I’m not sure how long it’s going to last – don’t think it was built for that kind of abuse!

Aston Villa, Ikea & Oracle

Liverpool managed their first away win in the Premiership yesterday at Aston Villa – it was also the first time they’ve won following a midweek Champions League game since Rafa took over last year. A late penalty from Steven Gerrard and an even later strike by Xabi Alonso we’re enough for the three points, and with the break for international matches coming up it was an important game to win.

We all went to Ikea today – Angela fancies a new mattress for the bed and one of those adjustable bed base things, only it turned out they’re out of stock so it was a wasted trip. Megan still had a ball bouncing on the beds and pushing her little trolley round, but we’ll have to try again in a week or two.

I’m off to Edinburgh for another Oracle 10g workshop tomorrow, and I’ll have to call in to see Ina & Dennis on the way back for a bit of PC repair work – it’s only a couple of weeks to our break at Center Parcs, and it can’t come soon enough…

Liverpool 3 – 0 Anderlecht

Goals from Fernando Morientes, Luis Garica and Djibril Cisse saw the Reds edge closer to qualification for the knockout stages of the Champions Leauge.

They now just need one point from their last two games, at home to Real Betis on 23rd November and then away to Chelsea on 6th December, to guarantee qualification from the group stages.

I’m sure they’d much rather do it against Real Betis than go to Stamford Bridge needing a point! 🙂